Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Reading Period 10: October 2 - October 8: Metaphysical Poets and Cavalier Poets

You all have done such an amazing job with Macbeth. I was so impressed today with your knowledge of the quotes! I know that there are graduate students in literature who have only a fraction of your grasp on the lines in this play, and that is fantastic. Also you're all being good sports and encouraging each other, and that makes me very proud. I really wish we could meet every day to learn about poetry and hear presentations and play Quiz Bowl, but since we cannot, please try to participate on the internet as much as you can. 

I would love to add another meeting, via a Google Hangout, however it's very hard to find a time that everyone can work with, and I have been asked specifically by a few parents not to do this. So Google+ is what we have -- let's use it! I am trying to be available and responsive as much as I possibly can, and I appreciate those of you who are logging on daily. That is the goal. 

Here's what's up next: 17th Century POETRY!


Read about the Metaphysical Poets and the Cavalier Poets, as well as the poetry of Donne, Herbert, Marvell, Vaughan, Jonson, Herrick, Suckling, and Lovelace. In the textbook, these are pages 263-293.

In class we talked about the 25 Steps to Understanding Poetry. Follow this link to look at that document. Each of you will be responsible for applying all these steps to one of the poems in this section! Here are your assignments:

It's John Donne!

Marisa: A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning by John Donne
Lane: Why So Pale and Wan by John Suckling
HannaD: To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell
HannahE: The Retreat by Henry Vaughan
Benny: Holy Sonnet 6 by John Donne
Jacob: To Lucasta, on Going to the Wars by Richard Lovelace
Saejin: Virtue by George Herbert
Alex: To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time by Robert Herrick
Zachary: It Is Not Growing Like a Tree by Ben Jonson
Mary: On My First Son by Ben Jonson

I will create a post for each assigned poem. 

The person who is assigned the poem will then comment with the 25 steps, numbered 1-25. (If you run into one that says "Read aloud" or something just say "Check" or in some way acknowledge that you did it.)

Each person is also responsible for reading one other poem, critiquing the response and commenting on it. You might point out a metaphor that the person missed, you might add a historical fact, you might give your own personal reaction... whatever. Do not comment on someone's 25 step analysis if someone has already commented on it! Find one that hasn't been commented on. +1 this post to tell me that you understand, or ask a question in the comments. A large part of your participation grade will depend on whether or not you do this assignment in a timely fashion. 


Art Connection:

George Herbert's poem "Wings" uses the shape of the words on the page to relate to the meaning of the work. See also his poem, "Altar," which does the same. 

The Altar
A broken ALTAR, Lord thy servant rears,
Made of a heart, and cemented with teares:
Whose parts are as thy hand did frame;
No workmans tool hath touch'd the same
A HEART alone
Is such a stone,
As nothing but
Thy pow'r doth cut.
Wherefore each part
Of my hard heart
Meets in this frame,
To praise thy Name:
That if I chance to hold my peace,
These stones to praise thee may not cease.
O let thy blessed SACRIFICE be mine,
And sanctifie this ALTAR to be thine.
Concrete poetry is a 20th century genre where writers used the shape of their poems on the page to reflect the content. Do a Google Image search on "concrete poetry" and then make your own concrete poem or "shape poem" in the style of George Herbert.

History Connection:

Write a 250 word essay about the King James Bible, its historical significance, its writing and production. You can use the material in the textbook to help you (p 294-300) and you can also talk about what the King James Bible 'means' to people -- people who are resistant to later translations like the New International Version, and consider the King James to be the only version of the Bible that's "real." 

Writing Connection:

Compare Donne's "Holy Sonnet 6" which begins "Death, be not proud" to his "Death's Duel" or funeral sermon, which speaks to some of the same themes. How does a poem affect a reader differently than a sermon or speech? Is the poem meant to be spoken or heard or read? Is a sermon intended, ultimately, to be read? Does a sermon about death spoken by a dying man have a greater resonance than a poem delivered by a plural first person speaker? Discuss these matters in a 250 word essay.


The quiz this week is over the materials in pages 263-293. Last week's quiz on Macbeth seemed a bit tough, so this week's quiz is going to be easy. Only 10 questions, and I fully expect everyone to get 100%.

1.Who coined the term "Metaphysical Poets"?  
A. Samuel Johnson
B. John Donne
C. King James
D. Plutarch

2.Which are the metaphysical poets NOT known for using in their work?  
A. Themes of love and religion.
B. Metaphors and paradoxes.
C. Clever language.
D. Emotional confessions.

3.John Donne went through two phases of life. Which bests describes these phases?  
A. Soldier and diplomat.
B. Poet and priest.
C. Adventurer and poet.
D. Priest and preacher.

4.What's that thing around John Donne's neck in the picture on page 264?  
A. A travel pillow.
B. A neck brace.
C. An Elizabethan ruff.
D. A gym sock.

5.In the map of the universe on page 268, what error do you see?  
A. The North Pole is omitted.
B. Africa is backwards.
C. They left off the constellation of Capricorn.
D. The earth is the center of the universe.

6.What vocation did John Donne and George Herbert have in common?  
A. They both preached.
B. They both did oil painting.
C. They both studied law at Oxford.
D. They both wrote translations of Homer.

7.Which is a translation of Carpe Diem?  
A. Fish is god.
B. Seize the god.
C. Seize the day.
D. The day of fish.

8.Who was NOT a member of the "Tribe of Ben"?  
A. John Suckling
B. John Donne
C. Robert Herrick
D. Thomas Carew

9.How did the Cavalier poets get their names?  
A. They fought on the side of Charles I in the Civil War.
B. They rode horses and wore feathered caps.
C. They were very nonchalant about tradition and formality.
D. They only carried luggage on Thursdays.

10.What do Suckling and Lovelace have in common?  
A. They both inspired clothing lines in Renaissance Paris.
B. They both died as martyrs during the time of the Puritan Commonwealth.
C. They both taught the poetry of John Donne at Oxford.
D. They were both actual soldiers during the Civil War.


--Next week's Candy Bowl is over the Vocabulary List #2 which contains words relevant to the study of poetry. 

--Next week the MIDTERM is due. Print it, fill it out, and bring it to class, or submit it in email BEFORE class.

--In two weeks your outline is due for your research paper. If you need help, please email me! I'm happy to talk through any problems or issues with you.

--Still working on the Halloween Party and murder mystery evening event.

--Schedule your presentation as soon as possible!

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